Obama water campaign raises environmental issue - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Obama water campaign raises environmental issue

Posted: Updated:
  • More NewsMore>>

  • Ohio gas prices up again to start work week

    Ohio gas prices up again to start work week

    Monday, April 21 2014 8:38 AM EDT2014-04-21 12:38:22 GMT
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Gas prices in Ohio are up slightly to start the work week.More >>
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Gas prices in Ohio are up slightly to start the work week.More >>
  • Fracking foes cringe as unions back drilling boom

    Fracking foes cringe as unions back drilling boom

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:25 PM EDT2014-04-21 01:25:56 GMT
    PITTSBURGH (AP) - After early complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local construction workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale fracking boom.That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit drilling.The Laborers' International Union, or LIUNA, says that construction work its members do on large pipeline jobs in Pennsylvania and ...More >>
    PITTSBURGH (AP) - After early complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local construction workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale fracking boom.That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit drilling.The Laborers' International Union, or LIUNA, says that construction work its members do on large pipeline jobs in Pennsylvania and ...More >>
  • Ohio hog farms hit by disease that kills baby pigs

    Ohio hog farms hit by disease that kills baby pigs

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:22 PM EDT2014-04-21 01:22:01 GMT
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Hog farms in Ohio are reporting cases of a relatively new disease that kills newborn pigs.The state's agriculture department says it has recorded a couple hundred confirmed cases of the virus across Ohio.The disease first found a year ago causes baby pigs to become dehydrated and die.Severe strains of the virus can wipe out a farm's entire supply of baby pigs.The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently said the die-off has had a hand in shrinking the nation's pig herd by 3...More >>
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Hog farms in Ohio are reporting cases of a relatively new disease that kills newborn pigs.The state's agriculture department says it has recorded a couple hundred confirmed cases of the virus across Ohio.The disease first found a year ago causes baby pigs to become dehydrated and die.Severe strains of the virus can wipe out a farm's entire supply of baby pigs.The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently said the die-off has had a hand in shrinking the nation's pig herd by 3...More >>

WATERTOWN, Wis. (AP) - First lady Michelle Obama led Wisconsin high school students in a toast to "the best drink in town" Thursday as she launched a campaign to encourage people to drink more water - something she said was the single best thing Americans could do to improve their health.

"Water is so basic, and because it is so plentiful, sometimes we just forget about it amid all the ads we watch on television and all the messages we receive every day about what to eat and drink," Mrs. Obama said. "The truth is, water just gets drowned out."

The first lady launched the campaign for the nonprofit Partnership for a Healthier America in Watertown in part because the city has been recognized for the quality of its water.

While the new campaign is widely viewed as encouraging people to drink water rather than sugary sodas, partnership president and CEO Larry Soler said it is not about pushing a particular type of water or stressing it over other beverages.

Mrs. Obama has counseled people in the past to switch from soda to water and has talked about seeing improvement in her two daughters' health after making that change in their diets. She spoke Thursday about seeing her daughters become more alert after they began drinking more water, but she did not mention any switch from soda.

The first lady long ago backed away from criticism of soda because her anti-childhood obesity initiative, "Let's Move," is premised on the idea that change won't happen without buy-in from the food industry, New York University food scientist Marion Nestle said.

The latest campaign is backed by the American Beverage Association, which represents the makers of soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks and juices as well as bottled water, and the International Bottled Water Association.

Nestle said it actually helps the major soft drink companies, which have seen a decrease in soda sales and are investing heavily in promoting bottled water brands and other drinks, she said.

"This is a partnership with soda companies to promote their bottled waters," Nestle said.

Environmental advocates say they're disappointed the campaign ignores concerns about plastic bottles ending up in waterways and reductions in federal funding for public water systems.

"We applaud the first lady's initiative to encourage people to choose water over sugary beverages, but we do have concerns that this partnership is working in conjunction with the bottled water industry and wish that instead she were encouraging people to choose the much more affordable, more regulated option of tap water," said Emily Wurth, water program director for Food and Water Watch.

Wurth cited a federal report that found only one-fourth of plastic water bottles are recycled. She also noted that bottled water often comes from public water systems.

While Mrs. Obama did not promote tap water over bottled water, many public utility workers in Wisconsin saw her visit as an endorsement of their work. Mrs. Obama noted Watertown had been recognized as having the best-tasting water in the state - an award it received in 2010 from the Wisconsin Water Association, which represents public utilities.

"You know what you're getting with tap water because it's a regulated thing," water association vice chair Ann-Perry Witmer said. "It really is the best tasting and the healthiest for you."

Watertown, about midway between Milwaukee and Madison, is home to Wis-Pak Inc., which manufactures and distributes Pepsi-Cola products - including Aquafina. It's also home to 7-Up Bottling Co., a family-owned business that distributes bottled water and other beverages.

Soler said after the first lady's speech the campaign would be most successful by not advocating one water source over another, noting the choice of what type of water to drink lies with individuals.

Sam Kass, executive director of "Let's Move," has cited federal statistics showing about 40 percent of Americans drink less than half the typically recommended eight cups of water a day.

Nestle said the message that Americans don't drink enough water is questionable.

"I'm not aware of any nutrition science that backs that up ... there's so much water in food and in what people are eating that unless you're an elite athlete, at very high altitude or old where your thirst mechanism doesn't work very well, it's just simply a non-issue in my view," Nestle said.

___

Associated Press writer Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.

___

Follow M.L. Johnson on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MLJohnsonOnline.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Around the WebMore>>

  • GM boosting China production capacity to 5 million

    GM boosting China production capacity to 5 million

    Sunday, April 20 2014 10:52 AM EDT2014-04-20 14:52:53 GMT
    Sales of GM-brand vehicles in China should reach 5 million next year, and Cadillac sales will double to 100,000, the president of General Motors said Sunday.More >>
    The president of General Motors said Sunday that the company and local partners are boosting production capacity for GM-brand vehicles in China to 5 million.More >>
  • Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:03 AM EDT2014-04-20 13:03:14 GMT
    NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.Helen Felumlee (FEHL'-uhm-lee) of Nashport in central Ohio died April 12. She was 92. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died April 13.The couple's children say the two met as teenagers and had been inseparable since then.The Zanesville Times Recorder reports (http://ohne.ws/1in7erG) that the pair married Feb. 20, 1944, and raised eight children.Their...More >>
    NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.Helen Felumlee (FEHL'-uhm-lee) of Nashport in central Ohio died April 12. She was 92. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died April 13.The couple's children say the two met as teenagers and had been inseparable since then.The Zanesville Times Recorder reports (http://ohne.ws/1in7erG) that the pair married Feb. 20, 1944, and raised eight children.Their...More >>
  • Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:31 AM EDT2014-04-20 12:31:46 GMT
    POHATCONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey has ignited several small brush fires.The Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pennsylvania, reports the fires occurred Saturday in Pohatcong Township and Phillipsburg. No major property damage is reported. A firefighter from the New Jersey state forest fire service fell and dislocated his hip.Huntington Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Pursell tells the newspaper the diesel en...More >>
    POHATCONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey has ignited several small brush fires.The Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pennsylvania, reports the fires occurred Saturday in Pohatcong Township and Phillipsburg. No major property damage is reported. A firefighter from the New Jersey state forest fire service fell and dislocated his hip.Huntington Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Pursell tells the newspaper the diesel en...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms